One of the new additions to HAVEN’s growing population this season is the vivacious Dr. Claire Callahan. Portrayed by the equally lively Bree Williamson, the role seems to jump off the screen and shakes things up amongst our trio of heroes in the dark, murky world of HAVEN. In a recent press conference call, Bree candidly shared what role Claire has to play in the this season’s “troubles” on HAVEN.
How did you happen to come to this role as Dr. Claire Callahan?
BREE: I auditioned for it. There was a call for it and I went in for it. I even had to pre-read with the casting director which, if you know a lot about the audition process that’s very, very early in the audition process, then I read for the producers once and I went for a callback again. You always know if you get the job, that it’s going to be a fun job if the audition’s fun, and we laughed a lot in the audition. I had a really fun time with the character, even preparing for the audition. I had a fun time and I really wanted the job, and I got it. So it was an awesome, wonderful surprise and worked out really well.
As far as Dr. Callahan, what jumped at you about her when you first read the scripts for the first few episodes?
BREE: Well, she namely jumped out at me during the audition piece that I had to audition for. She was kind of ballsy and really smart and witty and quick; that’s really what jumped out at me. She just said what she means to say without any filter — mainly in regards to what the other person felt because it was the truth and it had to be said — which is always really fun to play that character. She’s fun and it’s a little quirk in her which is really great.
Did you do any kind of special research in preparing for the role?
BREE: You know what’s funny, I played a crazy person on another show that I did for a while so I didn’t really have to do much research. I mean apart from watching other episodes of HAVEN to kind of get the vibe of this show and the timing and kind of what they were looking for to kind of blend in with the other characters, I didn’t really. I mean I did the research in finding out what was going on HAVEN and I had done research because I had had to play multiple personalities on another show because there was a lot of research that I had to do for that.
Have you found that it’s much different playing sci-fi roles versus non-sci-fi roles?
BREE: Yes, there was a lot of special effects and even the story, it’s scary. I mean, on the soap opera there was obviously some drama and some scary stuff that I played, but this was a bit different. But it was great.
You also worked on EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT and MUTANT X and ODYSSEY 5 so you have been exposed to sci-fi although this show is definitely kind of its own thing. Did those help you at all?
BREE: I guess so, a little. I think HAVEN is just its own kind of entity. Like it’s sci-fi but it’s also Stephen King — sci-fi with a little bit of quirk to it — that’s why I think it’s a great show.
How was it joining this already established cast?
BREE: It was awesome. It was great. Lucas, Emily, and Eric, I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with. They were so nice and we had a blast. It was sad to leave even though my husband was in California; so it was bittersweet to leave. I mean I love them, they’re so great and I made a whole other group of friends there in Nova Scotia. They’re so welcoming and because it’s a small town up there, when you’re not working there’s not a lot to do and you can kind of feel disconnected and a bit lonely. And they knew that and they just picked up the slack and we hung out. It was awesome.
How does Dr. Callahan end up in HAVEN? How does she come? Does she open a practice there or just end up there like circumstances as Audrey does?
BREE: Well, she’s always been there. As it was explained to me and the way that I have known it is that she grew up in HAVEN and then she went away to do her schooling and then she came back and opened up her practice. So even in Season 1 we didn’t see Claire but she was there working with the “troubled” during the aftermath. Maybe there were other people there that Nathan and Audrey and Duke didn’t meet she was working with them along the side as well. So she was brought into light into their inner circle because Audrey needs help after what we saw her go through in the first episode.
Will we learn more about Claire’s backstory and will we learn more abut how she’s worked with the “troubled” in the past and will that be of help to Audrey?
BREE: She kind of says a lot in her first episode about, what her role is and what she’s done and you learn a little bit more about her backstory but not that much more. I mean her story is she’s just a psychiatrist in HAVEN that has not been seen up until this point because it seems like she you know, Nathan, Audrey, and Duke have dealt with the “troubled” and been like, “okay, bye.” And the “okay, bye” led to Claire where she would help people work through the aftermath of what had happened to them.
Can you talk about what your role is going to be like after this week’s episode?
BREE: Yes, I’ll be appearing for pretty much every other episode throughout the season except the last one. But my main role on this show is mainly to be a sounding board for Audrey and to kind of help Audrey deal with her role in helping the “troubled” and also help her kind of navigate through all of this new information that she’s got. Because as we saw on the premier episode, she was trapped in that house with that guy asking her who the Colorado kid is and where he is and everything, so she’s struggling with who she is and what’s going in her life. So as Audrey and I deal with each case that comes up through each episode of “troubled” people, I’m also going to be dealing with her personal life.
How does Dr. Callahan view Audrey? Is she is skeptical or is she more open?
BREE: Dr. Callahan is extremely open. She was almost like a super fan of Audrey. She knew who Audrey was and she knows exactly what she does and she’s there to help her and is not skeptical at all. She understands the “troubles” and understands Audrey’s role. But she also understands that Audrey needs — another party to kind of bounce ideas from and kind of to make sure that Audrey’s taken care of herself.
Can you talk about Claire’s friendship with Audrey? Is it kind of more of a therapist relationship or do they actually become friends and hang out and talk about things not related to the “troubled”?
BREE: I think that’s the whole thing with Claire. Claire wants to be her friend but Audrey is a very guarded person. So as more things unfold to her this coming season Audrey gets more guarded and Claire is an extremely open person, so it would only be natural for her because HAVEN is kind of unconventional. Claire is open to a friendship and and also patient-therapist relationship. So it does get personal.
What’s been your favorite moment so far this season?
BREE: My favorite moment so far this season, there’s something called the “bottle” episode coming up and Jason Priestly directed it. I actually don’t even think I can get specific in this moment because I don’t want to spoil anything but there were a lot of fun times in there. Claire gets to be a little bit funny, which is those are always fun moments when I was able to inject some humor into HAVEN, and there are other people that get to be funny as well. But it was great to play a character that was free enough to add some humor in.
Did you get a chance to interact with Dorian Missick and Ms. Kelton’s characters as well during the course of the series this season?
BREE: I’m in a few scenes with Dorian and even a few with Kate. But most of my interactions are with Audrey and a little bit with Nathan.
Will she have any interaction with the Teagues brothers by any chance?
BREE: A little, not as much as I’d hoped but a little. Like she knows them and they know of her. So they have a relationship. So yes.
What was it like profiling a villain on the show?
BREE: We are profiling one big villain as the series unfolds, which is really exciting and fun. It’s kind of like as an actor you’re keeping it together, but even during table readings we’d all be like, “This is going to be exciting, everybody’s going to freak-out.” So that part was really fun. I mean it’s always fun to have a secret-end that everybody’s going to freak-out about or the fans that are really attached to the show are going to freak out about when it happens. There’s going to be a lot of freak-outs this coming season.
In what ways does Claire help Audrey find out who could be a bad guy? What methods does she use?
BREE: Well, I mean it’s mostly her and Audrey working together. They kind of work together on both finding out because it has to do with Audrey’s past and what’s happening in HAVEN, then what’s going on with the bad guy, it’s all really connected. So the more Audrey finds out about herself, the more that will helps to figure out what’s going on in HAVEN. So that was my role, to kind of connect the two.
What do you feel it is about a show like HAVEN that seems to resonate well with viewers?
BREE: I think the way that they set up the casting and the characters is really great. You have Audrey who is the lead and the heroine of the show, and she is a really strong, relatable female character. Then you have Nathan who is almost a one-type of romantic hero, the kind of dark and brooding police officer. And then you have Duke, who’s kind of like the rebel, funny guy. I feel like that combination is really great. Then you add in Vince and Dave who play these brothers, and it’s just really cool. It’s a serialized drama — and I love serialized drama – but it brings in a lot of character development. It’s not just circumstance; I think that it’s also extremely character driven, and they really try to keep the plot character driven as well, which is hard in a serialized show.
To see Bree’s big debut as Dr. Claire Callahan on HAVEN, be sure to tune in on Friday, September 28th at 10:00 p.m. on Syfy. With the news that Audrey is about to receive, she’s going to need Claire more than she knows.
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